23 Mar 2012

PNG students protesting against judicial conduct law undeterred by police warning

4:27 pm on 23 March 2012

University students in Papua New Guinea's capital are planning on staging their Occupy Waigani protest against the new Judicial Conduct Law despite police warnings not to.

The law, introduced on Tuesday and passed three times by a vote of 63-7 on Wednesday, effectively gives government the power to suspend a judge.

An estimated 2,500 students from the University of PNG plan to occupy the grounds of parliament in protest at the controversial law.

Police have told the students that due to security provisions around the country's political impasse, the march on parliament cannot be allowed to go ahead.

Protest organiser Nou Vada says the students are prepared to defy police.

"This issue has managed to unite everyone. This move by the O'Neill government to control the judiciary - the judiciary being perceived by many ordinary Papua New Guineans as the last beacon of hope - that has been seen as an attack on the judiciary."

Nou Vada.

Students have demanded the government send a representative to receive their petition or they'll march to the Prime Minister's office